Any UCR student that has walked across campus has probably ran into a few members of the Skate Club. Its members have seemingly taken ownership of the Bell Tower, citing its ideal location away from classrooms and flat surface as a perfect combination. The Skate Club has positioned itself as an organization that welcomes all, no matter their background.
The Skate Club, which was originally founded back in 2012, has long been a place for fostering community. At its core, the club is a place where students from all different academic backgrounds can come together and bond over the art of skateboarding. “There’s nothing like walking around campus and seeing someone and knowing that the one thing connecting you is Skate Club,” stated fourth-year geology major and president of the club, Maxim Shapvalov.
Like any other on-campus organization, the Skate Club also hosts its share of social events: from skating competitions to just gathering members together for a night of fun activities. The Skate Club prides itself on being inclusive. Surprisingly, you don’t even need a skateboard to join. Some of the members can be seen on scooters or even roller skates, and a person’s level of proficiency is also not a problem. From experts all the way to beginners, if you have a passion and appreciation for the culture, you are more than welcomed. This year, the club has been working on a year-long project: a skating video that will encompass a year’s worth of footage gathered by members. The video is set to premiere on the club’s social media account at the end of the quarter.
While the organization has a general meeting of its elected members once a quarter, you can always find them on campus. If you walk around campus with a skateboard, there’s a fair chance that if a member spots you, they will try to get you to join. Oftentimes, students on campus aren’t even aware that such a club exists until they are approached about joining.
Shapvalov explains that throughout his time in the organization, he has come to love the attention of skating at the Bell Tower. He explained, “At first I suffered with a bit of stage fright, but now when I get an audience of people I’m like let me do a cool kickflip or something.” Seeing people skating at the Bell Tower has almost become a staple in UCR student life. It’s something that you’ve come to expect.
To keep up with the Skate Club here at UCR, you can follow their newly made Instagram account, @skateclubucr.